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Two Joint Strike Fighters successfully landed aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz Monday, in what is considered the new Navy fighter jet's coming out party and an historic day in naval aviation.
Both F-35Cs caught the "three wire” – the third of four cables stretched across the deck, considered a bullseye in Navy flying -- putting an extra patina of success on the first day of sea trials for the next-generation American jet.
originally posted by: StratosFear
I believe I heard a bit of a snarl in the engine tone, I cant wait to see one at an airshow!
Built to be the deadliest hunter killer aircraft of all time, the F-35 has quite literally become the hunted. In every scenario that the F-35 has been wargamed against Su-30 Flankers, the Russian aircraft have emerged winners. America’s newest stealth aircraft – costing $191 million per unit – is riddled with such critical design flaws that it’s likely to get blown away in a shootout with the super-maneuverable Sukhois.
“Recently, articles have appeared in the Australian press with assertions regarding a war game in which analysts from the RAND Corporation were involved. Those reports are not accurate. RAND did not present any analysis at the war game relating to the performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, nor did the game attempt detailed adjudication of air-to-air combat. Neither the game nor the assessments by RAND in support of the game undertook any comparison of the fighting qualities of particular fighter aircraft.”
From an air-to-air point of view, 2 issues deserve special mention.
One issue is weight. The F-35 was designed with little margin for weight growth, but new capabilities and fixes for testing issues often add weight. Weight growth above designated limits directly affects aerial performance, and at some point, weight dilemmas can become a lose/lose proposition. One frequent consequence is higher costs, for example, as very expensive but lightweight materials are used to save an extra pound here and there. Another consequence is reduced performance, as seen in the F-35B’s drop to 7.0 maximum Gs after its aggressive weight reduction effort. A third consequence involves ruggedness and survivability, as seen by the fleet-wide problem created by saving just 11 pounds in all variants. Without fuelstatic flow fuses and Polyalphaolefin (PAO) coolant shutoff valves, DOT&E estimates that these flammable substances make the F-35 25% less likely to survive enemy fire.
The second issue that deserves especial mention is that key aerial combat standards have been lowered, following initial tests. All F-35s will sit at 5.0g or less sustained turn performance – a figure that places them in a class with 1960s era planes like the F-5 or F-4 Phantom, instead of modern designs like the F-16. Acceleration is also poorer, compared to a reference F-16C Block 50 with AMRAAM missiles on its wingtips zooming from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2.